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France. At least five tracks existed in France including two in Paris, Cachan and Piste de la porte de Cholay, Lyon, Dieppe and Dunkirk. Four tracks survived into the modern era, but sadly, all are now defunct.

Lyon. Couzon au Mont d'Or

 Lyon, Couzon au Mont d'Or EM 1979 George Fausch Rossi possibly?
Track in 2005 Otto Stroebel opening the 2005 EC Pit area

The Lyon track at Couzon au Mont d'Or hosted the World Championship in 1995 and five European Championships from 1974 to 2005 until subsidence and vandalism caused it to close just a few years ago.

Dieppe

Perched on the cliff top overlooking the town of Dieppe, the track featured twin circles for the smaller and larger classes. Its position right beside a main road and with housing immediately opposite was hardly ideal, finally being closed around forty years ago. It hosted the European Championships in 1968, before horsing aprons came into use. The track remained until the car park it occupied was extended just a few years ago. Severe cliff falls are putting the nearby houses and site in peril, so a last series of photos before it was dug up.

Still on IGN map School stadium in background Car park and roadside location
Double track, no apron Horsing circle Pylon plug still in place

Thanks to Phil Abott and his family we have this aerial photo of the track. To the left of the track is the Rue de Pourville before any houses were built along that stretch and in the foreground, the municipal campsite that was still in existence into the 90s, now a golf course. The cliff fall is now nearly back to the bend in the road.

Update 2022: Recent cliff falls have now closed the road, which has been re-routed through the athletics stadium and the site of the track.

Does anyone have any photos of action on the track please?

For interest, the winners at the EC in 68:
Class 1 V. Oerkeyni 165.440kph Class 2 Lothar Runkehl 192.220kph Class 3 Jozsef Peto 220.850kph Class 4 Harald Arlautzki 240.320kph

Club de Modelisme de Cachan Paris

This photograph of Horst Denneler was the heading for a feature on tethered cars and the Paris track and roughly translated talks about a racing car going by at speed on the concrete track. We believe the horser (lancer) to be Manfred Pfefferle.

Cachan hosted races until 1980, the last event being in April before moving to Lyon. The last winners at the track were Serge Holc, Manfred Pfefferle, Bernd Burk and Celestin Duran. OPS was already dominant in 5cc with Rossi still to the fore in 10cc, but OPS taking over again within months.

The photos below were taken in October 1979 by the late Geoff Sheppard who travelled to the meeting with David Giles, European Champion and record holder in 5cc. David recalls that he won the class at this meeting.

The track was in an area used by the council to store coaches and bin lorries and in a built up area as well. The two circles were to accommodate tethered cars on the inner and control line aircraft on the outer. The site also had a sports club with refreshment and toilet facilities. CMC is still functioning, primarily for team racing.

Michel Duran ready with the broom
Manfred Pfefferle horsing
Celestin Duran        Michel Duran
 Manfred Pfefferle
Minimal protection for those running cars
Pit scene, Horst Denneler L, Serge Holc R 213k 2.5cc 231k 5cc 265k 10cc Horst Denneler, Michel Duran, David Giles

SMCC Landikon Switzerland

The Swiss Model Car Club was founded on January 7th 1951 in Basel. Enthusiasts from Zurich and Bern later created their own sections that joined FEMA. With no track at that stage, races took place on school playgrounds, car parks and in halls, including the first ever European Championship in 1952 in Geneva. With permanent tracks already in existence in many European countries, the SMCC was in need of a track of their own that complied with international regulations. In January 1952, the Zurich section of the SMCC issued ‘an invitation to the founding meeting’ that led to the building of a track at Landikon near Birmensdorf, which is to the south west of Zurich. The founder and person largely responsible for establishing the track was Emil Schlatter.

Inaugural meeting Levelling the site Inner running surface

Unlike most tracks that start of on a relatively flat piece of land, the site at Landikon was on a hillside that required several thousand tons of soil to be moved to create the circle, the spoil being used to create spectator banking, pit areas etc. The full sized excavator gives a clear indication of the size of this task.  As was often the case, there were two concentric circles, one relatively small for 1.5 and 2.5cc cars and a full sized circle for the larger cars. Another notable feature was that the entire circle was paved and carried advertising for Firestone tyres.

Pit are showing amount of excavation Amphitheatre created by the track and banks 

The track opened in 1953, hosting the European Championship there with competitors from Italy, Britain, France and Sweden, as well as the host nation. Competitors from Britain had a very close association with the track having won the team trophy that year, with Jack Cook and Jim Dean winning their first European Championships. Both would be regular visitors for several years, winning further international events there.

 

The track did not host another European Championship until 1963 as the opening of the Witterswill track at Basel in 1956 gave Switzerland a second venue. These venues hosted a unique ‘double header’ in 1958 with the inaugural World Tethered Car Championship at Zurich and the European Championship at Basel on consecutive weekends.

Landikon track 1953-1972 Track location 47.354884, 8.456090 Circle can still be seen

In 1972, the landlord of the site at Landikon gave notice for the SMCC to vacate the track, ostensibly so he could use it for his own purposes, covering it in a thick layer of earth. The track is still believed to exist under the soil in the area shown with the red circle. With the Zurich section of the SMCC unable to find a new site they merged with the Basel section in 1977.

Jack Cook 10cc Dooling Cuttler, Cook, Dean, Petrie 1953 Two young Swiss enthusiasts 1968

We are most grateful to Christoph Zaugg, Roland Salomon, Philipp Meier and the Swiss Model Car Club for photos and information.

Sweden
GMRK Göteborg Tracks

In his recent reminiscences, John Goodall recalls being taken to the site of the original Göteborg Club track at Save, which had by then had become the airport that he had flown in to and an impressive cold war museum, which he visited. This track, which hosted the 1971 European Championship, was situated at what had been a top secret Swedish air force base that included hangars blasted out of the bedrock, which house the museum. The base closed in the late 60s,  and  some ten years later became the second civil airport to serve the town. The tethered car track was opened in 1967 but needed resurfacing in 1978.

Sadly, just two years later, the building of the new Hisingsladen road to the Volvo factory in Törslanda resulted in the GMRK having to relocate to a new site and build an entirely new track and facilities. The last meeting at the Save track was on the third of June 1980. The runway at Save was extended in 1984 to accommodate larger aircraft but ironically, although Save became Göteborg City Airport and home to budget airlines from 2001, it was only able to operate as such for thirteen years before all scheduled flights were transferred to Landvetter as the larger aircraft were breaking up the taxiways. 

The new track was built in the grounds of the Alelyckan waterworks in Largeholm, being completed in late 1984. A practice run was held in the Autumn of that year. The first official meeting was on the 24th-25th August 1985 with three drivers over 300kph, impressive for the time, Lennart Hellander topping the list at 307kph. The track was primarily used for Club and domestic events with the occasional FEMA GP or GS added to the calendar and was in use for less than two decades before another eviction.

The future of both the Göteborg tack and the one at Gavle were both in doubt over the winter of 2004/5, but happily, Gavle continues to operate through to the present. Not so for the Larje Ring though, as the city council served notice on the Göteborg Club that their lease would not be renewed as the site that they had occupied for just on twenty years years was required as a dump for waste soil.
                                                                            Right: The track in 1991

There was a vestige of hope that the track could be retained, especially if activities could be extended to youth and adult training, but this proved not to be viable and so the Club eventually was forced to vacate in 2005.

As the photos show, the site had already started to be filled with waste, prior to burying the track as at Landikon in Switzerland. The last sanctioned event was in June 2004 where the winners were Jan-Erik Falk 1.5cc, Priit Hoyer 2.5cc, Mart Sepp both 3.5cc classes, Tiit Luman 5cc and Gualtiero Picco 10cc.

Left: 2003

The site of the track is now an area of woodland between the waterworks building and the Gamlestadsvagen but of the track, nothing can be discerned.

The track from the top of the spoil The spoil encroaching

The final meeting was on July 2nd and 3rd 2005 where Mats Böhlin had the honour of making the last ever run at 322.754kph. Also running were Leif Persson, Ake Ekstrand, Leif Linden, Kjell-Erik Odelius, Helge Eriksson, Nils-Erik Palmen,, Nils Björk, Karl-Arne Karlsson and Ulf Ek, assembled above.

Thanks to Kjell-Erik Odelius and Leif Linden, who have provided detailed information and dates. if anyone has any photos from Save that they are prepared to share, we would be most grateful.

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